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1. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by GilbertLam)
Hi it's me again. This is probably really obvious but why does A(t0,t0+n)=e^dn?

Thanks.
It really is obvious. That's the accumulated value of the payment stream (of 1, at time ) at time , which is (assuming the rate of interest is constant at i% over the term of the stream, which it will be in your notes). Now use the identity which you should have definitely derived...
2. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by JohnnySPal)
It really is obvious. That's the accumulated value of the payment stream (of 1, at time ) at time , which is (assuming the rate of interest is constant at i% over the term of the stream, which it will be in your notes). Now use the identity which you should have definitely derived...
Oh thanks. I get it now.
3. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
So glad I gave up Maths after A level...
4. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
I'm in my penultimate year at uni, studying for a maths degree. I've already got some work experience lined up over the summer, but would it be a good time to do CT1?
5. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by mousy)
I'm in my penultimate year at uni, studying for a maths degree. I've already got some work experience lined up over the summer, but would it be a good time to do CT1?
IMO CT1 would be desperate measures. If you have work experience lined up already (over the summer I assume) there is absiolutely no point what-so-ever. Go do a good job for these people and get it all down on your CV, and get a good quality class of degree (the subject is already ideal). You'll be completely set for a job.

I would only do CT1 if you feel like you'd be a weak candidate and need something - anything - to make you stand out in the current tough jobs market. You sir certainly won't fall into that category. Or maybe I'd sit it if I were dubious over whether the actuarial profession would be for me.

You have to remember that most other other Core Technical subjects will rely on CT1 in some way or another (be it for the material itself of the general way of thinking) so you'll ideally not want to take big breaks between sitting different modules. Like I say, just sit them all together once you're in a job!

The one thing you really have to bear in mind is that insurance bodies (assuming you work in that industry) don't treat the exams as the be-all and end-all of prospective employees. In fact i'd go as far to say that they couldn't give a flying **** about them. They want good quality people to train up.

By the way this is coming from someone who has been working for a large general insurer for the last year, so believe me you can trust me on this
Last edited by JohnnySPal; 09-01-2010 at 23:32.
6. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by JohnnySPal)
IMO CT1 would be desperate measures. If you have work experience lined up already (over the summer I assume) there is absiolutely no point what-so-ever. Go do a good job for these people and get it all down on your CV, and get a good quality class of degree (the subject is already ideal). You'll be completely set for a job.

I would only do CT1 if you feel like you'd be a weak candidate and need something - anything - to make you stand out in the current tough jobs market. You sir certainly won't fall into that category. Or maybe I'd sit it if I were dubious over whether the actuarial profession would be for me.

You have to remember that most other other Core Technical subjects will rely on CT1 in some way or another (be it for the material itself of the general way of thinking) so you'll ideally not want to take big breaks between sitting different modules. Like I say, just sit them all together once you're in a job!

The one thing you really have to bear in mind is that insurance bodies (assuming you work in that industry) don't treat the exams as the be-all and end-all of prospective employees. In fact i'd go as far to say that they couldn't give a flying **** about them. They want good quality people to train up.

By the way this is coming from someone who has been working for a large general insurer for the last year, so believe me you can trust me on this
Thanks for your detailed response. What's worrying me is that although my work experience is insurance related, it isnt specifcally actuarial, so thats why i thought doing the first exam would give me something extra.
7. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by JohnnySPal)
You have been incredible in this thread!

I just thought I'd ask you a pertinent question - you may not know the answer, but it seems worth a try.

I did English literature at university, but I've been interested in the actuarial profession for quite a while, and it's something I've continued to consider (I'm currently doing a Masters). Now, I did get an A at A level maths (94%), but I'm aware that I'd still be considered a poor candidate for not having done a quantitative (or even science-based) degree. I'd be more than willing to splash out on the CT1 materials and do the exam (indeed, the idea of flexing my maths muscles once more is quite appealing!) but I am wondering exactly how much that would help. I realise it would make me a better candidate, but do you think doing that would stand me in relatively good stead (on paper at least)? It's only the cost of the materials and registering for the exam that I'm thinking about, really - if I'm still unlikely to ever be considered seriously anyway then I think I'd rather know before I shell out

Thanks in advance for any help you can give. By the way, how are you finding actuarial [student] life so far?
8. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
Wow it's been a month since I've posted on this thread. If anyone is interested or even cares I just thought I'd give you a quick update on my CT1 course lol.

Basically, I am about to finish chapter 11 atm (there are 15 chapters) and I am planning on finishing the course by the end of Feb just to give myself 2 full months to properly revise and consolidate the material. At the beginning, all the Maths stuff did throw me off a bit and some of the proofs did confuse me a tad but after spending a bit of time dwelling on it, it was relatively easy to understand. I think it was very important for me to understand the basics such as annuities etc as a lot of it repeats and some chapters build on the basics. Hope you understand what I'm talking about because I don't feel I'm makng much sense.

Umm what else? Oh yeah I will be applying for the exam soon, and will be paying \$220 for it . So yeah that's basically it if you've bothered to read this post

*edit* oh also, I forgot to add, initially I felt the studying was a bit too much whilst balancing 2 jobs and working mon-sat. Getting your head down to study after 6pm after a 'hard' day of work wasn't easy, especially when everything didn't seem to make sense at first! I think there were 2 times where I honestly felt like not applying for the exam because I couldn't cope. But I persevered, and when I took a break from it and came back to it the next day, miraculously things would just click and I would understand it gradually. Hopefully I am at a stage where in the future I won't feel the need to quit - especially since I will be applying for the exam soon! Oh yeah not to mention, studying and working has officially made me the most boring person on earth ON a gap year, I never go out anymore and my colleagues think I'm weird. But all my mates are at uni anyway, I have no-one to party with so it's worth the sacrifice ha.
Last edited by GilbertLam; 08-02-2010 at 19:28.
9. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by Jelkin)
You have been incredible in this thread!

It seems to me like there's a distinct lack of accurate information available on TSR, and most people replying to these kind of queries are fellow prospective actuarial students basing their knowledge entirely on hearsay. I'd happily contribute my knwoledge if the idea were popular enough, and we could definitely get a stickied thread going or something (I wouldn't fancy typing a load of stuff out only for it to disappear in a few days, which realistically would almost certainly happen...)

(Original post by Jelkin)
I just thought I'd ask you a pertinent question - you may not know the answer, but it seems worth a try.

I did English literature at university, but I've been interested in the actuarial profession for quite a while, and it's something I've continued to consider (I'm currently doing a Masters). Now, I did get an A at A level maths (94%), but I'm aware that I'd still be considered a poor candidate for not having done a quantitative (or even science-based) degree. I'd be more than willing to splash out on the CT1 materials and do the exam (indeed, the idea of flexing my maths muscles once more is quite appealing!) but I am wondering exactly how much that would help. I realise it would make me a better candidate, but do you think doing that would stand me in relatively good stead (on paper at least)? It's only the cost of the materials and registering for the exam that I'm thinking about, really - if I'm still unlikely to ever be considered seriously anyway then I think I'd rather know before I shell out
Well, first things first, you definitely meet the minimum requirements to join the Institute/Faculty of Actuaries, so there's nothing to worry about there.

You will be no means be considered a poor candidate. Employers will consider a wide variety of things, only one of those being your degree subject (though having said that, see my last bullet point further down the post). You'll obviously be at a disadvantage however, so it's very important you get all the knowledge you can and have enthusiam spew from every orifice in an interview, even if it means you rehearse answers. By knowledge, I refer to things such as the difference between life/general/pensions roles and working in a consultancy or non-consultancy role; and for each job you apply to, try and tailor your technical knowledge around that role (I work as a pricing analyst in a large general insurer, for example, and it definitely helped that I demonstrated basic knowledge of how you would price a motor or home policy in my interview, and of things such as how the voluntary excess level affects claim amounts). This kind of stuff will be absolute ******* gold to interviewers and will grab their attention. There are a lot of talented analysts out there with their sciency degrees, but a lot of mediocre interviewees who clearly lose sight of the job itself.

There are pros and cons to getting a Certificate in Financial Mathematics (i.e. Passing CT1 as a non-member), and it'll obviously vary from person to person. The way I see it, it's pointless trying to pass CT1 before you're in a job, unless your degree subject is completely inappropriate. So yes, I would recommend it

The reason I would recommend for people like you are numerous:

- Like you say, you'll be very rusty at maths. It will help you enormously for if/when you get a job and need to routinely call upon your statistical and financial knowledge (I have a maths degree so the former was no problem for me, but I definietly feel better off in terms of the latter having passed CT1!)
- It will give you a reasonable idea as to whether you're cut out for the exams, both mathematically and in general
- Passing will prove you're more than capable of performing well in your job (and in the exams). I can't emphasise enough that employers will care more about your ability to do the job than ability to sit some silly exams!
- Passing will also show other valuable skills to employers, such as dedication and ability to work diligently
- It will give you an idea of how much study is required. I had a PM only yesterday from a poor fellow shocked when half the Amazon rainforest came through the post. Each module will need at least 100 hours of work, and unlike in uni where you can ******** your way through to an extent, you WILL be caught out if you try the same here. Trust me on that
- Most importantly though, to be honest, with the current job market you simply won't get noticed. Competition is so high at the moment that your CV will probably get thrown out as soon as they see your degree subject. I really think a CT1 pass will be the only way you'll pursuade employers to invite you to interviews.

So yeah, I'd definitely give CT1 a shot if you're up for it. However, make sure you get a good block of time to do it in. Personally I spent a good 4-5 hours every Saturday morning in the local library (having worked 9-5 Monday-Friday) for about four months, and still felt I could have been better prepared for the exam.

(Original post by Jelkin)
Thanks in advance for any help you can give. By the way, how are you finding actuarial [student] life so far?
I'm really enjoying it thanks

I'm going to be posting off my app to become a member of the Institute in the next couple of days, now that my study contact has officially come through. Very exciting stuff, not least because it'll mean I'll be a student again! OHaving a day a week off for study also sounds very appealing!

But I really do like my job at the moment, and find the studying very fulfilling. It can be so bloody hard sometimes but I'd much rather have that than not feel challenged by my job...
Last edited by JohnnySPal; 08-02-2010 at 20:11.
10. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by JohnnySPal)

It seems to me like there's a distinct lack of accurate information available on TSR, and most people replying to these kind of queries are fellow prospective actuarial students basing their knowledge entirely on hearsay. I'd happily contribute my knwoledge if the idea were popular enough, and we could definitely get a stickied thread going or something (I wouldn't fancy typing a load of stuff out only for it to disappear in a few days, which realistically would almost certainly happen...)

Well, first things first, you definitely meet the minimum requirements to join the Institute/Faculty of Actuaries, so there's nothing to worry about there.

You will be no means be considered a poor candidate. Employers will consider a wide variety of things, only one of those being your degree subject (though having said that, see my last bullet point further down the post). You'll obviously be at a disadvantage however, so it's very important you get all the knowledge you can and have enthusiam spew from every orifice in an interview, even if it means you rehearse answers. By knowledge, I refer to things such as the difference between life/general/pensions roles and working in a consultancy or non-consultancy role; and for each job you apply to, try and tailor your technical knowledge around that role (I work as a pricing analyst in a large general insurer, for example, and it definitely helped that I demonstrated basic knowledge of how you would price a motor or home policy in my interview, and of things such as how the voluntary excess level affects claim amounts). This kind of stuff will be absolute ******* gold to interviewers and will grab their attention. There are a lot of talented analysts out there with their sciency degrees, but a lot of mediocre interviewees who clearly lose sight of the job itself.

There are pros and cons to getting a Certificate in Financial Mathematics (i.e. Passing CT1 as a non-member), and it'll obviously vary from person to person. The way I see it, it's pointless trying to pass CT1 before you're in a job, unless your degree subject is completely inappropriate. So yes, I would recommend it

The reason I would recommend for people like you are numerous:

- Like you say, you'll be very rusty at maths. It will help you enormously for if/when you get a job and need to routinely call upon your statistical and financial knowledge (I have a maths degree so the former was no problem for me, but I definietly feel better off in terms of the latter having passed CT1!)
- It will give you a reasonable idea as to whether you're cut out for the exams, both mathematically and in general
- Passing will prove you're more than capable of performing well in your job (and in the exams). I can't emphasise enough that employers will care more about your ability to do the job than ability to sit some silly exams!
- Passing will also show other valuable skills to employers, such as dedication and ability to work diligently
- It will give you an idea of how much study is required. I had a PM only yesterday from a poor fellow shocked when half the Amazon rainforest came through the post. Each module will need at least 100 hours of work, and unlike in uni where you can ******** your way through to an extent, you WILL be caught out if you try the same here. Trust me on that
- Most importantly though, to be honest, with the current job market you simply won't get noticed. Competition is so high at the moment that your CV will probably get thrown out as soon as they see your degree subject. I really think a CT1 pass will be the only way you'll pursuade employers to invite you to interviews.

So yeah, I'd definitely give CT1 a shot if you're up for it. However, make sure you get a good block of time to do it in. Personally I spent a good 4-5 hours every Saturday morning in the local library (having worked 9-5 Monday-Friday) for about four months, and still felt I could have been better prepared for the exam.

I'm really enjoying it thanks

I'm going to be posting off my app to become a member of the Institute in the next couple of days, now that my study contact has officially come through. Very exciting stuff, not least because it'll mean I'll be a student again! OHaving a day a week off for study also sounds very appealing!

But I really do like my job at the moment, and find the studying very fulfilling. It can be so bloody hard sometimes but I'd much rather have that than not feel challenged by my job...
Thank you thank you thank you!

Just one or two more questions ...?

1.) I am currently deep in the throes of a Masters degree and I don't think it would be feasible to take the exam in April (especially as I am studying abroad and it would mean coming back to the UK just for the exam). It seems there is another CT exam in October, which is perfect, but I wouldn't get the result until December 10th. Assuming optimistically that I would pass, do you think I'd miss a lot of grad deadlines? I know I could look into this myself, but I was wondering if you knew offhand.

2.) Quite a few employers specify that applicants should have a numerical or semi-numerical discipline. Should I pay heed to this and not apply to any that say this? Or I guess I could email various companies to check that this is a steadfast rule?

3.) Re: "technical knowledge", do you have any suggestions for how to gain this? Obviously I will properly research the different actuarial roles and such, but I would never know that stuff about motor home insurance you mentioned I'm not sure what answer I'm expecting you to give here though ...

Thanks again, you are super kind!
11. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by Jelkin)
Thank you thank you thank you!

Just one or two more questions ...?

1.) I am currently deep in the throes of a Masters degree and I don't think it would be feasible to take the exam in April (especially as I am studying abroad and it would mean coming back to the UK just for the exam). It seems there is another CT exam in October, which is perfect, but I wouldn't get the result until December 10th. Assuming optimistically that I would pass, do you think I'd miss a lot of grad deadlines? I know I could look into this myself, but I was wondering if you knew offhand.
You'd be struggling to get the necessary studying in even if you were an unemployed bum! Don't even think about the April sitting.

Well, you can always apply to grad schemes and emphasise that you're studying towards CT1 (and of course tell them it's going extremely well and that you're loving it) anyway.

Remember there are alternatives to grad schemes. I got my job through recruitment agencies, and if anything I'm happier for going through that route. By not entering through a grad scheme I was thrown straight in the deep end (and proposing changes that would make seven figure sums of profit within six months ). These guys will be recruiting all year, but again you just have to bear in mind that they'll be thin on the ground with jobs.

Out of interest, what class are you on for? Certainly doing a masters will help, but if you're on for less than 2i I would seriously think twice given how much competition there is for jobs atm. Ideally you'd be on for a first given the subject you're doing...

(Original post by Jelkin)
2.) Quite a few employers specify that applicants should have a numerical or semi-numerical discipline. Should I pay heed to this and not apply to any that say this? Or I guess I could email various companies to check that this is a steadfast rule?
Apply anyway. Worst they can do it tell you to go away. Also, if they invite you along to assessment days or interviews it'll be useful practice.

With grad schemes, the application process is largely competency based anyway, so it gets a lot easier to write apps once you've done a few (you'll repeat yourself ad infinitum).

(Original post by Jelkin)
3.) Re: "technical knowledge", do you have any suggestions for how to gain this? Obviously I will properly research the different actuarial roles and such, but I would never know that stuff about motor home insurance you mentioned I'm not sure what answer I'm expecting you to give here though ...

Thanks again, you are super kind!
For graduate level stuff it'll be fairly obvious stuff they're looking for. Take a motor policy for example; a premium will be higher depending on the policyholder age, the make of car, the engine size, prior claims history (no claims discount) etc.

I'd have a huge browse on WIkipedia. Seriously, that's what I did. Just search by obvious combinations of the words Insurance, Life, General, Actuary, Actuarial ...
12. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by JohnnySPal)
Out of interest, what class are you on for? Certainly doing a masters will help, but if you're on for less than 2i I would seriously think twice given how much competition there is for jobs atm. Ideally you'd be on for a first given the subject you're doing...
I graduated in the summer with a 2:1 and am now studying for an MA at Lund University in Sweden. I probably should have got a first but I was always doing extra-currics! ... one of which was being the JCR treasurer at my college. This isn't related to actuarial stuff at all, really, but do you think it will show I at least have an interest in more task-based roles/finance?
13. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
An actuarial position without something even remotely mathematically related?

Even a typical degree in accounting and business studies with some maths wouldn't suffice.

You're looking at mathematics, economics (with high mathematical content), engineering, science and actuarial science graduates who become actuaries.

EDIT: On second thought, it turns out that a non-mathematical degree is possible, providing that you can prove you hold high quantitative skills e.g. to at least A-level standard.

The above list of subjects greatly increase your chances.
Last edited by RBarack; 15-02-2010 at 12:53.
14. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by RBarack)
An actuarial position without something even remotely mathematically related?

Even a typical degree in accounting and business studies with some maths wouldn't suffice.

You're looking at mathematics, economics (with high mathematical content), engineering, science and actuarial science graduates who become actuaries.

EDIT: On second thought, it turns out that a non-mathematical degree is possible, providing that you can prove you hold high quantitative skills e.g. to at least A-level standard.

The above list of subjects greatly increase your chances.
At the end of the day it's all about how much you impress potential employers with CVs (once you're at an interview you can justify ad nauseum why you're suitable for the job despite your unorthodox qualifications), and I'm sure employers would take note of someone who has dragged themselves up to the appropriate standard.

To me, sitting an Actuarial Science masters course after you graduate would still be the ideal route though, like I've said many-a time in here already. I think it's Leicester who do a one year course which will give you a heap of exemptions on the way.
15. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by RBarack)
An actuarial position without something even remotely mathematically related?

Even a typical degree in accounting and business studies with some maths wouldn't suffice.

You're looking at mathematics, economics (with high mathematical content), engineering, science and actuarial science graduates who become actuaries.

EDIT: On second thought, it turns out that a non-mathematical degree is possible, providing that you can prove you hold high quantitative skills e.g. to at least A-level standard.

The above list of subjects greatly increase your chances.
16. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by JohnnySPal)
I think it's Leicester who do a one year course which will give you a heap of exemptions on the way.
I think Kent do a one year course too if I remember correctly...
17. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by JohnnySPal)
At the end of the day it's all about how much you impress potential employers with CVs (once you're at an interview you can justify ad nauseum why you're suitable for the job despite your unorthodox qualifications), and I'm sure employers would take note of someone who has dragged themselves up to the appropriate standard.

To me, sitting an Actuarial Science masters course after you graduate would still be the ideal route though, like I've said many-a time in here already. I think it's Leicester who do a one year course which will give you a heap of exemptions on the way.
I can't find this Leicester masters in Actuarial science. Not having a dig at you, i'm actually curious. Would they accept engineering graduates for actuarial masters courses?
18. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by RBarack)
I can't find this Leicester masters in Actuarial science. Not having a dig at you, i'm actually curious. Would they accept engineering graduates for actuarial masters courses?
Why would I think you're having a dig at me?

http://www.actuaries.org.uk/students...ties/leicester
http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/mat.../msc/actuarial
(Apparently a distance learning course. I did not know this until now)

{full list of unis that run accredited courses: http://www.actuaries.org.uk/students/tuition/courses)
19. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
(Original post by JohnnySPal)
Why would I think you're having a dig at me?

http://www.actuaries.org.uk/students...ties/leicester
http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/mat.../msc/actuarial
(Apparently a distance learning course. I did not know this until now)

{full list of unis that run accredited courses: http://www.actuaries.org.uk/students/tuition/courses)
Brilliant cheers.
20. Re: Can I get into actuarial profession with a Music degree...
I couldn't be bothered to read past the first half of the first page, but I've just been offered an internship at PwC with a totally unrelated degree. The partner interviewing me said he was more bothered about me having the right personal skills, because it's easy to teach someone for a professional qualification but harder to take on someone who knows the theories but has no team building/client skills at all.
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